Let me illustrate this point.
Let’s pretend I was a trained engineer who understood all about the physics, geometry and engineering needed to build things. Suppose you came to me and asked me to build a bridge for you, so that your town would prosper and grow. If I did not know how to practically apply my education, what good would my knowledge be?! You, along with your whole town, would be very disappointed.
The same is true in a spiritual dimension.
We must have our “senses” (faculties of perception) sharpened so that we can distinguish between right and wrong doctrine and holy or unholy conduct. The first place we can and should make practical application of the Word of God is to ourselves. It is a sad truth that as leaders we are very perceptive and discerning about others, but are blind to our own shortcomings. Often we excuse, justify and rationalize behavior and attitudes in ourselves that we would not tolerate in the people we are shepherding. This kind of behavior leads to the “dullness of hearing” mentioned earlier. When we are quick to apply the Word to our own lives and live accordingly, there will be a corresponding release of a greater anointing to minister to others.
The Word That Feeds Us
“…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:4).
Jesus is quoting a statement declared by God through Moses in Deuteronomy 8:3. Bread had a central place in the Hebrew culture and the Old Testament. A thorough study of this is beyond the scope of this article. However, one important image or type as illustrated in the Old Testament would be interesting to note.
The stories, events and prophecies of the Old Testament were written as examples and a source of illumination for us concerning spiritual principles for powerful and practical holy living. We discussed this earlier in this article – see 1 Corinthians 10:1-11. The Old Testament gives us many “foretypes” or symbols of New Testament realities.
In Exodus 25:23-30, God is instructing Moses on the building of furnishings for the tabernacle, specifically the table of showbread. This bread, baked fresh every week, was to be placed before the Lord every Sabbath. There were twelve loaves representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
This showbread is also a foretype of Christ Himself as the Bread of Life (John 6:48).
It is also a symbol for the Word of God that feeds us and gives us nourishment and strength.
This bread was unleavened, and as Leviticus 24:5-9 tells us, it was made of fine (or pure) flour. The bread was unmixed with anything else, and was considered “most holy” (vs. 9). Pure frankincense was put on this bread, which was to be eaten only by Aaron the High Priest and his sons. The showbread was to be placed every Sabbath “on the table before Me always” (Exo 25:30).
Fine, Pure Flour
Here we see a rich symbolism that teaches and instructs us about the place and priority the Word of God should occupy in our lives. The following is just a brief overview of some important lessons we can learn from the showbread.